Google Ads Best Practices Q&A: Finally, The Answers You`ve Been Looking For

Published by Pedro Campos on

Looking for some Google Ads best practices to improve your marketing efforts?
Then, you`ve landed on the right page!

Let me ask you something else…

Remember being in school with your hand raised waiting for your turn to get your question answered?

Of course, you do!
Sometimes you`d even end up getting frustrated because your turn never comes and you eventually had put your hand down.

I know that happened to me, it`s so awkward, isn`t it?

Well, in this post you won`t have to wait for your turn. In fact, you can skip right away to the question you`re most interested in.

But if you have a little bit more time, why not check them all?
You might learn something new.

Google Ads Best Practices Intro

As you can probably see, I`ve decided to share these practices in a question-answer format.

I can`t promise you`ll find an exact answer to your question, what I can promise is the best possible answer to every question here.

We`ll be covering topics such as bidding strategies, ad copy, keywords, landing page conversion, ad budget, and a lot more.

This post will cover what we think are the most effective best practices.
If you`re looking for some extra advice, check out this resource from Google Ads Help Center.

So, without further ado, let`s dive into the Q&A.

Which Automated Bidding Strategy Should You Use?

It really depends on your company`s marketing goals.

Are you trying to build brand awareness, generate leads, drive sales, or maximize revenue? The answer to this question will guide you to the right Google Ads bidding strategy.

For example, if you`re an online store, you`ve been actively tracking your conversions and your goal is to maximize revenue, the right strategy is Target Return On Ad Spend (ROAS).

On the other hand, if you`re just looking to drive as much traffic to your website as possible, your best bet is to choose Maximize Clicks, as your bidding strategy.

As an alternative, for full control, you could choose manual bidding.

How Can You Improve Ad Click-Through Rate?

You can accomplish this by implementing some of these tactics:

  • Be specific in your ad copy: make sure to add keywords people search for in your ads, as it helps to make them more relevant for the user
  • Mention one key benefit of your product: think about what you can offer that`s unique from the competition and that matters to your prospects
  • Test different calls-to-action: sign up now or register now?; call now or book now?; fast shipping or free returns?

You should be constantly thinking of ways you can increase your Google Ads click-through rate. It`s an ongoing process.

google ads best practices

Test more, especially when you`re getting great results.
I know it doesn`t make much sense but it will be a game-changer because most advertisers only test when things go south.

Don`t be that person, prepare for battle in times of peace.

What Can`t You Say On Your Google Ads Copy?

I guess it`s not so much what you can`t say (I assume you have freedom of speech), but what you shouldn`t say.

What you shouldn’t say will most likely get your ads disapproved or even worst, get your ad account shut down.

Some ad copy Dos and Don`ts:

  • Do not misspell things or use incorrect grammar
  • Don`t include symbols
  • Don`t use emojis
  • Do use punctuation as it is intended
  • Don`t write in all caps (unless it`s supposed to be that way)
  • Do capitalize the first letter of the word
  • Don`t include phone numbers in your text ads copy
  • Do not ever say “click here”
  • Don`t repeat the same words multiple times in a row (i.e. awesome, awesome, awesome)
  • Do not use dishonest language (i.e. a price or feature in your ad different from the actual product)
  • Don`t use extra or remove space from your ad copy (use proper spacing)

Some of these best practices are a matter of common sense, while others might be a bit more unknown to the beginner advertiser.

It`s always a great idea to check out Google Ads Policies once and a while as they might get updated.
You don`t want to get caught by surprise!

How Do You Make Your Ad Copy Stand Out?

There are a couple of ways to accomplish this.

The first way is to make your ad copy exciting, alive, and persuasive using words such as “get” or “now”.
Also, feel free to inject some urgency with words like “limited stock” or “while supplies last”.

Secondly, what you can do is adding an enticing offer to your ad copy.
Think about what`s great in your offer, what makes your product or service stand out. An example could be “15 years providing remarkable customer service” or “free and fast shipping.”

What Can You Do To Increase Landing Page Conversions?

Running ads would be a lot easier if landing page experience didn`t matter. But it really does, a lot!

A properly optimized landing page can be the difference between you spending $10 per email sign-up and paying $60 for the same traffic.

  • The quickest and easiest tip I can give you to increase conversions is to simply make sure the page you`re sending traffic to loads in 3 seconds or less.

There are countless studies out there saying that a big percentage of people leave a website if it doesn`t load fast.

  • Another basic tip is to only add a call-to-action to your page. That way, you`re not confusing the user, since they only have that button to click, in order to take the next step.

Oftentimes, people leave a landing page without converting because they get confused with so many buttons.

This is an important and wide topic to cover in just a few paragraphs, that`s why we have a blog post dedicated to this, where I share some landing page optimization best practices.

It`s worth checking it out.

Should You Layer Multiple Targeting Options In A Campaign?

I would advise against that. Here`s why:

When you combine too many targeting options in the same campaign, for example, demographics, topics, and keywords, your traffic will likely be limited.

But of course, it`s all about testing, just know that if you layer a bunch of targeting, you won`t be getting a lot of traffic, sometimes you might not even get any traffic at all because your targeting is so narrow.

Give it some breathing room!

Your best bet is to start off with demographics and some other targeting option or just simply start with keywords.

Are Google Search Partners Worth Using?

Contrary to what some believe, most of the times, search partners traffic is solid.

There are a few times where that might not be the case. In those cases, before you give up on it completely, you`ll want to do a little bit more digging.

You`ll want to go to the search report and find out what terms show up for the search partners network.

Sometimes, you`ll find these long keywords, that you think most people wouldn`t search for, like tiles and mosaics glass tile blue tile.
What you`re seeing is not a keyword but a category and subcategory of a website where your ads showed up. It`s the information Google picks up.

The solution is to add that term as a negative phrase match keyword.

Other times, you investigate and conclude that the search partners network isn`t driving any results, in that case, it is best to turn it off.
As always, test it out.

How Do You Deal With Close Variant Keywords?

These close variants will be triggered no matter what match type you have.

I wouldn`t see this as an issue when, for example, you have bathing suits as a keyword and your ads are shown to people searching for swimming suits.
They`re basically the same thing!

In this case, you might want to also add swimming suits as a keyword to your campaigns.

It becomes a little bit trickier when you have lawn mowing companies as a keyword and your ads show when someone types in lawn mower companies.
Now, these are different things.

For instance, someone searching for lawn mower companies is probably looking to buy a lawnmower, not to hire a company.

What you do, in this case, is add mower as a negative keyword.
Also, keep an eye on the search terms report to see what people are searching for and spot any other negative terms you could add.

When Should You Use Dynamic Keywords?

Remember that dynamic keyword insertion works with those keywords you`ve added to your ad groups.
It doesn`t dynamically insert the exact terms people search for, it only matches those searches to the keywords you already have.

In some cases, you might actually see worst results, by using dynamic keywords.

The explanation is simple.

Your ad copy won`t be as great as if a human, assuming he knows what he`s doing, were to write it manually.

For instance, if you`re targeting keywords that are closely related, like bathing suits and swimming suits, there`s no need to use dynamic keywords.

On the other hand, if they`re not closely related, you`ll simply want to put them into different ad groups.

Personally, I wouldn`t recommend using dynamic keyword insertion but feel free to test for your specific situation to see if it actually makes a difference in terms of performance.

How Do You Calculate Your Ad Budget Properly?

Start with the end goal in mind.

What is your goal?
Get email subscribers, phone calls, or sales for your eCommerce store? And how many of them are you expecting in a given period?

Once you answer this, you`ll also want to know how much you`re willing to pay for those conversions and do the math backward.

google ads best practices

For example, if your goal is to have prospects call your business directly, you know you can be profitable paying $30 per call and you want to get 50 calls a month, then your budget would be around $1,500 a month.

There`s no set ad budget to start off with, start with what you feel comfortable spending. If you have some data to back up your numbers, even better.

It really doesn`t make a difference how much you spend a month as long as you`re getting a return on ad spend.

What`s The Best Way To Use Frequency Capping?

Firstly, you should be using frequency capping on all your display and YouTube ad campaigns.

If your campaign is performing well and you`re looking to scale your budget, you can just increase the frequency cap to spend more.
Now, keep an eye on your campaigns to see whether or not you`re getting more of the same results.

google ads best practices

Generally, on display, you might have a frequency cap of 5 impressions per day, and 5 impressions and 3 views per day on YouTube.

In regards to remarketing on both placements, that number can be a little bit higher, since these folks have already demonstrated some interest in your offers. 10 is usually a good frequency cap to start off with, in this case.

As always, every industry is different, so feel free to test these.

Will Google Reviews Affect Ad Performance?

If Google says seller rating extensions drive more ad engagement and give your ad a better quality score, then we`d have to agree that it does affect.

Think about it.

Reviews are the best form of social proof.
When your ad displays a bunch of five-star reviews, how likely is the person behind the screen to click on your ad and make a purchase?

Exactly! Use reviews whenever you can.

What Are Some Best Practices To Create Effective YouTube Ads?

When I was a Facebook Ads consultant, I developed a formula to create high converting ads.
Those same principles can also be applied to YouTube Ads and any type of video ad.

These are the elements from that formula you should strive to include in your video ads:

  • Pattern Interrupt: start your video with something people are not expecting to grab their attention; movement is a good one.
  • Educate: teach people something about the industry, your product, or share an insight.
  • Demonstrate: show the viewers how your product works; this is great for products that need a demonstration, like a massage chair.
  • Story Sells: tell a story in your video ad; this will help you connect on an emotional level with the prospect.
  • Drive Action: make your call-to-action visible and tell people exactly what to do.

However, you don`t need to include all of these in one video ad for it to be profitable. If you study successful video ads, they all have one or more of these elements.

Should You Target Your Competitors` Brand Name On Search Ads?


Why wouldn`t you? These guys did it in the most original way:

google ads best practices

It`s just another opportunity you have to conquer market share. You`d be surprised to find out how many companies are not using this tactic.

Some of them even have a better service and don`t do it. They`re leaving money on the table, that`s what I can say.

How Do You Increase Your Google Ads Quality Score?

Your quality score determines your ad’s position and how much you pay for them to be shown.

Quality score is made of these components:

  • expected click-through rate
  • ad relevance
  • landing page experience

So, improving one or all of these components, will help you get your ads shown in upper positions at lower prices.

Make sure to add negative keywords and be specific in your ad copy, using relevant search queries in your ad copy.
Also, follow the best practices mentioned in this post; landing page optimization and improving CTRs.

Which Conversion Attribution Model Should You Use?

If you`re not very familiar with Google Ads attribution models, here`s a quick overview:

  • Last click: all the credit for the conversion goes to the last-clicked ad
  • First click: all the credit for the conversion goes to the first-clicked ad
  • Liner: distributes the credit for the conversion equally across all clicks
  • Time-decay: more credit is given to clicks that happened closer in time to the conversion
  • Positon-based: 40% of the credit is given to the first and last click, and 20% to other clicks
  • Data-driven: Google artificial intelligence determines how to best distribute your attribution values

Now, the question is: which one is best for you?
It`s not a simple answer.

This comes down to the type of business and customer journey you deal with. As a standard option, I would recommend First click attribution.

It helps us measure our cold traffic efforts better, since we`re not interested in measuring conversions from remarketing.

What I won`t recommend is Data-driven.
Would you trust a machine to choose what attribution measurement is best for you?

Many of us wouldn`t, at least not at this point.

How Can You Increase Budgets Quickly Without Screwing Up Your Campaigns?

I know you`re probably looking for a magic number or percentage to increase budgets.

But there isn`t!
It depends on how much you`re spending a day and what type of bidding strategies you`re using.

If you`re using any kind of automated bidding strategies, such as Maximize Clicks or Target CPA, you have to be careful and take things slowly.
With manual bidding, you really don`t need to be as cautious when increasing budgets.

google ads best practices

That being said, the bigger the budget, the smaller the increase will be, percentage-wise. With manual bidding, you can increase your budget daily by 10 or 20%, or every 3 to 5 days by %50.

Of course, keep an eye on your costs per conversion.

Don`t take these numbers as the “holy grail”, they will vary, like I said, depending on the bidding and also the type of campaign.

In conclusion, the rule of thumb is to take it easy with any kind of automated bidding and be a bit more aggressive with manual bidding.

What Are The Best Ways To Scale Google Shopping Campaigns?

There are several ways you can scale shopping ad campaigns.

Firstly, you need to add all your products to Google shopping. From there, you`ll want to use some or all of these tactics:

  1. Increase budget gradually: if you`re already spending your daily budget and not losing many impressions due to budget, you can start increasing your budget by 10 or 20% every week and see if you can keep scaling profitably.
  2. Remarketing on display and YouTube: use those remarketing audiences you`ve built to generate even more qualified traffic and sales.
  3. Leverage search: take your best-performing keywords from Google Shopping campaigns to create search ads.
  4. Scale to multiple locations: you can also branch out to other countries, if possible, and create separate shopping campaigns for those, just keep in mind you`ll have to create another product feed.

In addition, focus on your best selling products and bid higher for those, when creating your remarketing and search campaigns.

A Question For You

Up until this point, you were the one asking the questions.
How about we flip the table?

Now, let me ask you a question:

What other best practices would you like to see featured in this post?

And please don`t ask stuff like “how do I install conversion tracking?”
Give it some thought, make sure it`s a good one so everybody who reads this can benefit from it.

Let us know in the comments. We`ll pick the best and answer them here.

Categories: Google Ads

Pedro Campos

Pedro is the founder of Advertongue, a performance-based digital advertising agency. He is a paid media strategist for high-growth companies and experts all over the world, with over a million dollars in managed ad spend. You might have seen his content on sites such as Funnel Magazine, G2, Content Marketing Institute, or FitSmallBusiness, to name a few.


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